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It`s been 6 months since I was last in Japan. That time I was on a business trip with a bit of time on my hands, as you can see from previous entries. This time I`m on vacation with the family, and although my wife gave me the green light to do as much training as I wanted (she hasn`t been home for 2 years and will be catching up with family and friends), I have been here for 5 days and haven`t trained once. It doesn`t help that 2 weeks before we left, something went "twang" during training and I was diagnosed with a hernia . From then, the trip took on a bit of a downer. I`d arranged a whole heap of keiko, mainly with Nakao sensei, my mentor here in Kobe, but also at my old dojo in Tokyo and a potentially interesting day down at Peter Rehse`s dojo in Himeji where I`d convinced Michael "Stumpy" Steumpel to also come and play, along with the possibility of Peter Goldsbury joining us too. On top of that, Peter R`s shihan had arranged for one of his top deshi and some "hot" randori students to come play too, it is all set for an interesting day next weekend.
After arriving at the inlaws, the first port of call was aisatsu with Nakao sensei. We packed a bag of omiyagi and headed off to his restaurant where we knew he`d be preparing for the evening. "oki ni" he says (a traditional Kansai greeting at restaurants) as we open the door, "Bryan keiko dekiru?" he asks as I enter "onaka dechau yo!" he laughs - "Can you practice Bryan, you`ve got a fat belly". OK, let`s put that into perspective, I`m 6` 2", 180 lbs (85Kg) and was commonly referred to as lanky for most of my life.I`m now 41 years old and spend 12 hours of my day in the car and at a desk, I still do 5 hours a week in the dojo, but don`t exactly have a six pack.........., well I do, but not the right sort .
After chatting for a bit I drop the hernia bomb, he is very disappointed. I promise that I will come and practice, but slowly...... We explain tha we have a couple of days travelling and then I will come and play next Friday. "I`m waiting for you" he smiles....